Ruling Out Red Tape

5 years ago | by

Simplifying 48 business application forms into one and slashing footpath regulations in commercial areas to create fun, welcoming spaces that attract customers is part of a new partnership push by Coffs Harbour City Council to help local businesses succeed.

“Council is ripping up the rule book to encourage new businesses to set up and to help existing businesses attract new customers,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.

From June 25, 2018, Council will partner with Service NSW to deliver the ‘Easy to Do Business’ programme to streamline the processes involved in opening a new business in the cafe, restaurants and small bars sector.

From July 1, 2018, Council is also rolling out its ‘Trading Places’ scheme – which replaces rules and regulations for footpath use with a more flexible, common-sense approach – to retail and dining areas in all commercial zones within the local government area. This follows a successful six-month trial in Coffs Harbour’s CBD.

“By making footpaths more colourful, lively, entertaining and interesting we will create much more vibrancy on our streets so that people will want to stay to savour the atmosphere and be more likely to stop for a coffee or a meal, or spend time more time shopping,” added Cr Knight.

“Working together is my mantra and we’re really pleased to be working with Service NSW and local businesses to create positive results.”

‘Easy to Do Business’ was started by the NSW Government to stimulate small business. It focuses on coordinating and navigating through the approvals required by a new business owner.

The current process requires new businesses to deal with 13 agencies and to complete 48 forms. This will be replaced by the Service NSW digital platform which includes upfront information regarding what is required by a potential new business owner from all of the approval authorities and includes a single digital form to replace the existing forms. A business concierge service, via a single phone number, is also provided to support customers through the process.

The ‘Trading Places’ initiative includes:

  • waiving fees for A-frame signs, stalls and displays, outdoor dining areas and streamlining approval processes;
  • giving traders more ‘ownership’ of their footpath spaces; and
  • simplifying footpath use in designated areas by local community groups and not-for-profit organisations, buskers and performers.

All businesses must register online to participate. Existing public safety and liability provisions required by legislation for public footpaths will have to be maintained.


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